Auntie SparkNotes: How Do I Stop Wanting To Cling?
Heeey Auntie SparkNotes!
I’ve been dating this guy for about three months. He’s really great and I really like him. The thing is, well, me. I’m in grade 11 and he is my first boyfriend. I thought I was a strong person and all, but apparently I'm just one of those needy girls. I try really hard not to show it because I don’t want to drive him away. But, for example, when we’re at school at lunch and stuff, I just want all his attention. I also want to be with him like all the time. I really wish I didn’t feel this way so strongly, because I feel really pathetic. Is there some way to get over these incredibly needy and clingy feelings? Is it maybe because he’s my first boyfriend?
For starters, Sparkler, you could probably stand to be a teensy bit easier on yourself. I mean, you're three months into a relationship with a guy you're crazy about; of course you want to be with him all the freakin' time! Because when you really love something—or someone—it's the most normal and natural thing in the world to want as much of it as humanly possible. And that goes double when, in addition to the flat-out adoration, you've also got the added factor of newness to contend with.
Because in this way, getting a new awesome boyfriend is no different than buying a new favorite shirt, or trying a new favorite food, or discovering a new favorite show on Netflix: eventually, the novelty of this OMG SO AMAZING thing will wear off. But in the meantime? You want nothing more than to binge-watch episodes of Breaking Bad back-to-back until your eyeballs start to melt.
And in new relationships, it's not remotely uncommon for one or both of the people involved to be so infatuated and over-the-moon that they latch onto their partner like a remora until the honeymoon period's over.
So basically, being head-over-heels in luuurve with your guy doesn't make you needy or weak; it makes you a human being. What matters is that you recognize that just because you feel like you want to be with him all the time, that still doesn't mean you necessarily should be, or need to be—in the same way that wanting to watch all five seasons of Breaking Bad in a single week does not necessarily make it a good idea. (I know. I did it. I got couch sores.)
Which means that you're already in decent shape, because you don't actually think you're in the right to demand all your boyfriend's attention, all the time. Right? You're not jealous or controlling or insecure; you just like him a lot, and you recognize that it's making you a little bit crazy. But it won't always be like that. Eventually, the sheer excitement of having a boyfriend will wear off, and you'll begin operating from a better, more mature place of appreciation for him as an individual. And in the meantime, to stay on an even keel, all you need to do is:
a) Keep your life full and rich and interesting enough that you don't end up crossing over into controlling craziness, i.e., by staying engaged and investing your energy into the friendships and activities you love, and
b) Allow yourself to express your feelings in an appropriate way, and without beating yourself up for feeling them. Because while draping yourself over your boyfriend's lunch tray and shrieking, "Pay attention to meeeeeee!" would be madness, telling the truth every so often—that you think he's awesome and you love spending time with him—is the kind of honest expression of affection that everyone can enjoy.
Do you feel like you want to be with your significant other OMG ALL THE TIME? Tell us in the comments! And to get advice from Auntie, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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